You may know from last week’s post “Please Let Me Get To Hold Her” that I lost a baby in June. She was 23 weeks and already very loved and longed for. Her name was Cadence Abigail.
Am I hurting? Hell, yeah. Like you wouldn’t believe. Every time I think a new thought that has to do with her, I shed a waterfall of grief. Today it was triggered by a memorial from her funeral that was on the side of our fridge. I miss everything I hoped her life would become. Is that weird? Missing the future that wasn’t even explicitly promised? Well, I do.
I want to hold her, nurse her, change her, watch her grow, adore every first… That’s only the first five minutes of her life! I want all the minutes!
We aren’t supposed to outlive our children. It’s not natural. We aren’t supposed to struggle with infertility. We also aren’t supposed to allow the heartaches of life the decide who and what we are. If you’re wearing your heartache years after it’s for a couple of possible reasons.
You may not know how to overcome.
You may not want to overcome.
That’s it. Those are the only two reasons you should be suffering from any terrible loss or heartache a decade later. Some loss is far more complicated than others but when we step back from all of the “what-ifs” and simply see life as it is… accept it as it is… and embrace a future we didn’t plan for… that is when we begin again.
Beginning again doesn’t throw away the loved one. It doesn’t mean we won’t miss them or feel sadness from time to time. Grief is much weightier.
My reality has changed… big time. With the expectation of having a baby, I made major adjustments to our plans. Our schooling, our vacations, my work schedule, my house layout, the beds, the storage and selling of our belongings. So, as we now settle into a more normal routine, I’m feeling the pain and loss of all my expectations.
Grieving is a key component to healing. I want to stress that. You really do need to grieve. It looks different for every person. Grief needs to be healthy though. There is a form of grief that’s destructive. It’s important to mind your thoughts when you’re at your lowest – to not make internal vows in moments of grief. This sounds like “I’m never doing that again.” “I’ll never suffer like this again.” “I won’t survive another tragedy.” “I can’t move on without them.” “My life is pointless.” “What’s the point in living if it’s always so painful?”
I confess there was a time in my life when thoughts like that came in to play when I was deep in sorrow. I also had ones like “Nobody loves me.” “I’m worthless.” “I can’t do anything right.” “I break everything.” “I’m ugly.” And so on and so on.
Any thoughts like these keep us in a negative cycle. They produce more things for us to overcome. They are lies. They cycle for one purpose and that’s self-destruction.
So, as we journey through the sorrow and grief, we have to mind our thoughts. Choose to chase off the destructive ones and only embrace the truth.
I remember when my husband was deployed. I had a terrible scare. He had been in a firefight and his vehicle had been hit by two RPGs. When I heard there was an incident I worried all morning that he had been there but didn’t know for sure. Then I knew he was there and all they could tell me was that he had received a TBI (traumatic brain injury) and other minor injuries. So, I waited… for hours… to hear from him. All the scenarios went through my head. Was he coming home a vegetable? Was he coming home in a wheelchair? Was he even coming home? So many thoughts went through my head. I was devastated at the unknown, packed full of fear and had very few tools for working through this in a healthy way. I remember the thought crossing my mind “I can’t do this without him. I can’t parent these two babies by myself.” I instantly knew that just wasn’t true.
Even after learning that he was ok with no major injuries, I’d still fall apart every day in worry. Every. Single. Day. I finally “worst-case scenario’d” it (yes that’s a thing) with God. It sounded like this:
Me: What if he dies?
God: I’ll walk through it with you.
Me: What if he comes home angry and violent?
God: I’ll help you through it.
Me: What if he comes home a vegetable?
God: There is no scenario in which I would leave your side. I will never leave you and I am working for the good of your future. Even in all the bad that life brings… I am here.
I put down the negative thoughts. I began to walk it out in peace. I stopped watching Facebook, to find out when they were in blackout and therefore must have had an injury of some kind.
It was one of the hardest years of my life. Not just mommying alone but mommying alone in fear and sorrow as I grieved for the families of our fallen. As I watched and wondered how they’d try to rebuild and redefine.
I had to mind my thoughts that whole year or live in misery.
What are you focusing on? What are you pushing down and refusing to face? Pushing down the grief only saves it for later and it doesn’t get easier to face at a later date. It bleeds into the other areas of your life. It can grow like a cancer. You think you’re numbing the pain, but eventually, all of you is numb.
Face it. But face it in truth. If you don’t know how to find truth in your current scenario, let me help! I’m a message away. If that’s too hard, quiet yourself, away from everyone and listen to God. He’s speaking to you. His words are true, and he actually loves you.
Hey! Thanks so much for reading! I have so much more to share with you!!
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